What is the climax?

What is the climax?

Have you read Romeo and Juliet by Shakespeare?

Do you remember when Romeo kills himself thinking that Juliet is dead? And then Juliet kills herself too?

If you do, you know that it is when the story reached its peak intensity, to its climax. Then, with the help of the falling actions, offered readers an interesting resolution.

The Climax is the part of a story where the action or the tension reaches its peak

In his Die Technik des Dramas, the German novelist and playwright Gustav Freytag put forth a 5-act drama structure. According to his theory, a plot must have five different parts, which are:

  • introduction
  • rise
  • climax
  • return or fall
  • catastrophe
Freytag's Pyramid
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Freytag’s Pyramid
By SinjoroFoster – Own work, CC0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=83149750

The Greek philosopher Aristotle, on the other hand, coined the idea of a plot as a single action needing to have a beginning, a middle, and an end.

If you look at both of these ideas together, you would know that the climax comes at the end of the middle section; when the story arc bends and starts descending through the falling action and toward the resolution.

So, climax can be defined as the dramatic point when the story turns, the point when the story aims to resolve the main conflicts for good.

In literary terms, it is the highest point of tension that drives the story towards its ends.

To put it simply, it is the moment when the protagonist reaches their goals or fails to reach them.

In narrative storytelling, the climax is often depicted with a confrontation between the protagonist and the antagonist or an opposing force, pitting against each other to get what they want.

The Climax needs to be fitted in the larger story arc perfectly

If you go back to the 5-part drama structure in Freytag’s Pyramid, you would see that the climax is not the whole, but an important part of the story arc. It sits in the middle with two pillars on each side.

Therefore, it’s very important to find the perfect spot for your climax to be integrated into the narrative.

If it happens too soon, the setup would be too short and the end would be too long; making the story boring for the readers. If the climax happens too late, the resolution would be too short for a satisfying and memorable ending.

Getting the climax right with our novel writing software

Thankfully, you can take advantage of our novel writing software, bibisco, to create an intense and exciting climax.

If you didn’t know already, bibisco is a comprehensive novel planning software. With it, you can expand your plot, create a narrative structure, define the premise and the settings, etc. You can also know your characters in-depth, which in turn, aids in creating an emotionally intense climax.

The bibisco feature that most benefit the placement of a climax is its ability to organize and re-organize chapters and scenes, while also keeping them at the forefront of the author’s eyes.

bibisco chapter's detail
bibisco blog | useful resources by your novel writing software
bibisco chapter’s detail

As a result, an author can revise their story, adding or deleting scenes to fit the climax perfectly in the story.


Whether you follow the structures of Aristotle, Freytag or Lajos Egri; there is no other way but to write a memorable story or a novel without climax.

After all, it is the point when the readers come to know what happens to the protagonist’s goals.

As it’s not easy to create a climax and incorporate it in the story arc, you could hugely benefit from using our novel writing softwarebibisco.

Let’s try out its features now!

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